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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Villa Door Open For Lee Hendrie

Martin O'Neill says that midfielder Lee Hendrie would be welcome to return to Villa but has stressed he has no guarantees of first team football.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis has reportedly spoken to O'Neill about re-signing Hendrie for the rest of the season.

O'Neill said: 'Stoke would want Lee to go back to them but I want to speak to Lee. I had a brief conversation when he was in for treatment. I'd rather have a more lengthy conversation with him to see where we are. He's played the games for Stoke, he is match fit and I am sure Lee's heart is at Villa. If he felt there was opportunity to get back into the side, I'm sure he would to try and have a go.'

'He's got six months left of his contract, he's got his testimonial at Villa and ideally it would be great for him to be at Villa when his testimonial comes around. The opportunity for every single of our players is there. I can guarantee no-one a starting place in the team. The truth is if Lee is willing to come back and take his chance, that would be fine by me.'

And on the original loan he says 'Lee wanted to play games and the opportunity arose at Stoke. I wasn't disappointed in the fact he wasn't going to hang around at Villa. In fact, it was an ideal opportunity for him to go out and get some games under his belt. He has done well for Stoke and has become a bit of a favourite there. There is no disappointment on my part that he chose to go on loan.'




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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday January 8 2007

Time: 2:13PM

Your Comments

O'Neills begging to sound like 'he who must not be named' its not quite parseltongue but close :) Maybe he's being crafty at man motivation, his wand not existing and all
avfc48
Sod it, get him back and in the squad. I'd prefer to see him on the pitch instead of Witts or the Jumper Twins.
DixonTheVillain
I dont see what Lee has done thats so awful.He was on a great run scoring goals,got injured and was never picked again.a quality player on the pitch who can do things with a ball most of our team cant.an arse of it of coarse but so what.
Pking
i don't care as long as we don't offer him another contract. He should free to go in the summer no matter what. The second he signs a 3 year deal we'll see the back of any effort on his part.
The Usual Suspect
We need numbers so having him back is no bad thing. If he starts performing (and that's a big if) MON could give Gabby a well deserved rest. Hendrie would certainly be more comfortable on the right than Petrov
Geordie_Villa
No guarantee of a first team place is exactly how it should be. I personally think that as we stand now, squad size and personnel wise, he'd be an asset to us.
glensider
Agreed he could be an asset, no player should be guaranteed a start, makes them lazy and complacent, if and thats a big if he manages to get on and perform like we all know he can, then MON could give him a short term rolling contract, as long as he does the biz he's cool, mess it up and your out.
steff_the_villan
Lee will be like a new player. He'll also put ressure on the likes of Petrov and Davies and can operate anywhere in midfield. He will be a welcome asset no doubt. I remember him as a youngster at bodymoore polishing boots of the seniors, cleaning up after them, carrying cones and balls to training and even delivering fan mail to the players at bodymoore. Even than he loved doing it because it was for Villa. Bring him back....and play him against Man U this weekend!
reza
Take him back it's not like he is just a bad player, he is a former england international (even if he only got one cap) I think he does deeply love the club and with villa having such a small squad why not take him? It would also show Petrov that he has to earn his place in the squad. I get the feeling he thinks he can swan into the starting 11 each match and I think not really played well so far at villa he just seems to go missing in most match's and see's free kicks just as a chance to give the ball away i think Hendrie would play at least as well, if not better for Villa then Petrov!
Tallaght Villan
glensider: my sentiments exactly !
jaspervilla
Don't forget Hendrie can score goals and at the mo that is something we desperately need - Play Gabby upfront with Baros/Sutton or Angel and Hendrie on the right.
Steve64k
Amazing how divisive the Lee Hendrie issue is. It seems you either love him or hate him, I love him (but not in a gay way) and would love to see him being given a chance under MON.
jonah
I would not mind seeing Lee Hendrie given a go to be honest we have nothing to lose...
col8
I wouldn't mind seeing him go back to Stoke and wash his Ferari.
tarzan
I wouldn't mind seeing him up Broadstreet or in a strip bar - oh dear i already have!!!!
mackaavfc
The fact he would do a better job in my opinion than what our right midfielders (usually CM's) are doing, I say we bring him back. He's a Villa lad and I think would improve the squad whilst it's curerently in its threadbare state.
Tierney
I think his VP days are all but over. Time to move on Lee.
glensider
 

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